Hosting vegan guests if you don’t eat a vegan diet, or you don’t have any vegan family members, can be quite tricky. The first thing you need to find out is exactly how strict your guests are when it comes to meat. Some vegan guests will only not eat meat or animal products, and some will not eat anything that has been cooked with meat products in the same oven, for example.
Here are some answers to common questions asked by people who are hosting vegan guests but are not vegan themselves:
I’m a vegetarian but I need to cook for a vegan – what should I do?
The first thing you need to do is identify which sources of protein you usually would use that are actually animal products. This includes eggs, milk and cheese. Figure out some good replacements for these early on. Egg replacement is available if you are baking, but otherwise it’s not difficult to replace milk with soy milk and find loads of your usual beans, legumes and other healthy sources of protein to fill up the plate.
If you’re not big on soy products then stock up on veggie burgers and sausages! Marinate them in a delicious salsa or vegan marinade overnight to make them juicy and delicious – just make sure that the brand you choose is suitable for vegans.
I’ve never cooked vegetarian before and now I have to feed a vegan – help!
Calm down, and don’t panic – it’s not as difficult as it sounds! Remember that being a vegan means that you don’t want anything that’s been made with meat or animal products, and you don’t want anything that has been produced using these products somewhere along the way.
Your best bet is to visit your local health food store and ask them for some ideas on what to cook. They’ll definitely have loads of great ideas for curries, stews, vegetable bakes and pasta dishes that can be created without using any animal products at all, and are still delicious. As a last resort think if you know any vegans or vegetarians who could give you some more ideas.
A quick Google search for vegan recipes will bring up hundreds of ideas of things that are easy to cook, and it’ll mean that you go out hunting for new ingredients to use. As a last resort stock up on veggie burgers and make sure that your vegan guest is alright with you cooking meat using the same appliances.
My guest is a vegan and won’t eat anything that’s been cooked anywhere near meat. How do I feed everyone else?
This can be a tricky situation, but you have two clear options. The first is to feed everyone a vegan meal, which might be a good experiment if you can get it right. Do some research and look for some tasty, hearty vegan meals that will leave the carnivores in your family satisfied.
Your other option is to cook the vegan meal separately, and to cook it first and warm it up later. This might not be possible depending on what you cook, so make sure that whatever you decide to make for your vegan guest can be warmed up. Cooking it first will eliminate the risk of it acquiring any smells or flavours from meat cooked in your pans or oven, and hopefully this extra effort will be enough to satisfy your vegan guest.